viktor_haag: (Default)
Hmm. Well, I've now seen two separate articles on the intarwebs about Bezos' latest notion (some might say folly): an e-book reader that uses a thin-on-the-ground, closed system wireless network to deliver content to owners on a subscription basis. On the one hand, I can see that this product might just be a replacement, not for books, but for more transitory forms of written content (newspapers, magazines, blogs). Maybe it will succeed as an iPod for words rather than tunes.

On the other hand, I can't help but feel that this gradual transition of creative content over to a service-based, subscription model is somehow, well, offensive.

When I buy a book, I buy a book, dammit. And why would I not want my hundreds of dollars to be invested in an e-book reader onto which I could load whatever PDF or HTML content I wanted to load, using open wireless networking standards (like 802.11 WiFi), rather than only the content that my service provider saw fit to provide?

Somehow, this product here makes me feel more sanguine about the whole "inevitable deprecation of the paper book". On the other hand, I can't help but notice how much more expensive the iLiad is than Bezos' new "Kindle"...

postscript: in today's Register, we have this: "One plan is to reduce the cost of books through advertising ... books in Kindle can contain adverts which are updated daily."
So, apparently, the solution to e-books is to turn them into television.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Hmm. Well, I've now seen two separate articles on the intarwebs about Bezos' latest notion (some might say folly): an e-book reader that uses a thin-on-the-ground, closed system wireless network to deliver content to owners on a subscription basis. On the one hand, I can see that this product might just be a replacement, not for books, but for more transitory forms of written content (newspapers, magazines, blogs). Maybe it will succeed as an iPod for words rather than tunes.

On the other hand, I can't help but feel that this gradual transition of creative content over to a service-based, subscription model is somehow, well, offensive.

When I buy a book, I buy a book, dammit. And why would I not want my hundreds of dollars to be invested in an e-book reader onto which I could load whatever PDF or HTML content I wanted to load, using open wireless networking standards (like 802.11 WiFi), rather than only the content that my service provider saw fit to provide?

Somehow, this product here makes me feel more sanguine about the whole "inevitable deprecation of the paper book". On the other hand, I can't help but notice how much more expensive the iLiad is than Bezos' new "Kindle"...

postscript: in today's Register, we have this: "One plan is to reduce the cost of books through advertising ... books in Kindle can contain adverts which are updated daily."
So, apparently, the solution to e-books is to turn them into television.
viktor_haag: (Default)
This morning, I received my new copy of Leopard. As a result my machine at work has now been upgraded. The process was remarkably painless (so far, knock on wood). Even restoring my roll-my-own email system to get it working with the local corporate net was quick and painless. However, an eye on the system's console logs leads me to be a bit concerned that Leopard's method of dealing with postfix is substantially different than Tiger, and this may cause me some head-aches. We shall see.

My impressions so far? Well, two things, really.

Overall, the system seems snappier, smoother, and there are little improvements noticeable everywhere (as was advertised).

The new Dock, however? Well, I must say I'm not a fan. The new "drawer" notion is cool enough, but I find it quit stoopid that it sticks the (alphabetically) first icon found inside a folder on top of the folder icon that's now a drawer. Feh. I shall have to see if I can do something about that.

But (again, I cross my fingers), this has been the easiest OS upgrade I've ever done, and I should be able to leave the office at the "usual time" without staying on into the evening. Whee!
viktor_haag: (Default)
This morning, I received my new copy of Leopard. As a result my machine at work has now been upgraded. The process was remarkably painless (so far, knock on wood). Even restoring my roll-my-own email system to get it working with the local corporate net was quick and painless. However, an eye on the system's console logs leads me to be a bit concerned that Leopard's method of dealing with postfix is substantially different than Tiger, and this may cause me some head-aches. We shall see.

My impressions so far? Well, two things, really.

Overall, the system seems snappier, smoother, and there are little improvements noticeable everywhere (as was advertised).

The new Dock, however? Well, I must say I'm not a fan. The new "drawer" notion is cool enough, but I find it quit stoopid that it sticks the (alphabetically) first icon found inside a folder on top of the folder icon that's now a drawer. Feh. I shall have to see if I can do something about that.

But (again, I cross my fingers), this has been the easiest OS upgrade I've ever done, and I should be able to leave the office at the "usual time" without staying on into the evening. Whee!
viktor_haag: (Default)
In today's zefrank, the man exposes YouTube's new content policy. Copyright? What's that? In short: you upload it, they can do what the heck they like with it. This may alter your thoughts about what to do with your home movie projects.
viktor_haag: (Default)
In today's zefrank, the man exposes YouTube's new content policy. Copyright? What's that? In short: you upload it, they can do what the heck they like with it. This may alter your thoughts about what to do with your home movie projects.
viktor_haag: (Default)
So today, mere days after I ordered it online, I received my BlueTooth barcode scanner (I guess I shouldn't be terribly surprised; it's not like they have the May TwoFour in the States). And my friendly postal-agent here tells me I owe CRA an extra 22 bucks. This kind of thing always annoys me, but it's the kind of annoyance you live with because, you know, it pays for provincial transfer payments and the like (I'm looking at you Stephen Harper! I live in Ontario! 'Nuff said on that matter...).

Then I have a closer look at the package.

The shipper clearly lists the contents of the box on it's documentation as "barcode scanner".

Then on CRA's paperwork manifest, I read some long number followed by this description: "scanner/police / Postes - de radio, domestiques"

Buh-whaaa?

Great. So now, no doubt, I'm listed in Stockwell Day's super-secret-national-security files as someone who buys, what, a police band radio? A radar detector? Neither can be all that good.

Thank-you, CRA. Clearly the words "barcode scanner" mean something entirely different to the charming gentlemen and ladies you have checking packages that come north of the 49th.


("It's a barcode scanner, your honour! A barcode scanner! It's for barcodes! Honest!")
viktor_haag: (Default)
So today, mere days after I ordered it online, I received my BlueTooth barcode scanner (I guess I shouldn't be terribly surprised; it's not like they have the May TwoFour in the States). And my friendly postal-agent here tells me I owe CRA an extra 22 bucks. This kind of thing always annoys me, but it's the kind of annoyance you live with because, you know, it pays for provincial transfer payments and the like (I'm looking at you Stephen Harper! I live in Ontario! 'Nuff said on that matter...).

Then I have a closer look at the package.

The shipper clearly lists the contents of the box on it's documentation as "barcode scanner".

Then on CRA's paperwork manifest, I read some long number followed by this description: "scanner/police / Postes - de radio, domestiques"

Buh-whaaa?

Great. So now, no doubt, I'm listed in Stockwell Day's super-secret-national-security files as someone who buys, what, a police band radio? A radar detector? Neither can be all that good.

Thank-you, CRA. Clearly the words "barcode scanner" mean something entirely different to the charming gentlemen and ladies you have checking packages that come north of the 49th.


("It's a barcode scanner, your honour! A barcode scanner! It's for barcodes! Honest!")
viktor_haag: (Default)
Got my new iWork/iLife in the post this morning, so they're currently getting installed on the workmac. Jeez, there's a lot of goop in iLife.

No doubt this was another "early adopter victimization" purchase, it's not like I've yet made extensive use of much beyond iPhoto and iTunes. Pages was fine for a v1 release, but still had some annoying quirks (like the way it slowed to an absolute crawl when frame borders were turned on); I'm hoping that v2 will be a significant improvement. I don't have much use for Keynote at the moment, so that makes Pages a pretty pricey entry-level layout tool. I was really hoping that iWork '06 would pack a spreadsheet, but no.

Still, I like to keep up-to-date with my software, and they were significantly cheaper purchased through the corporate plan we have set up with Apple, so...

My biggest rationalization with this purchase was to get ahold of iWeb and use it to revamp my long-in-need-of-revamping website. In my copious free time.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Got my new iWork/iLife in the post this morning, so they're currently getting installed on the workmac. Jeez, there's a lot of goop in iLife.

No doubt this was another "early adopter victimization" purchase, it's not like I've yet made extensive use of much beyond iPhoto and iTunes. Pages was fine for a v1 release, but still had some annoying quirks (like the way it slowed to an absolute crawl when frame borders were turned on); I'm hoping that v2 will be a significant improvement. I don't have much use for Keynote at the moment, so that makes Pages a pretty pricey entry-level layout tool. I was really hoping that iWork '06 would pack a spreadsheet, but no.

Still, I like to keep up-to-date with my software, and they were significantly cheaper purchased through the corporate plan we have set up with Apple, so...

My biggest rationalization with this purchase was to get ahold of iWeb and use it to revamp my long-in-need-of-revamping website. In my copious free time.
viktor_haag: (Default)
So, I found on the 'net a CD image of Microprose's old "Magic: The Gathering" computer game, complete with both expansion sets, and patched to run under Windows XP.

w00t! (as they say)

Now, I don't feel bad about this, as I originally purchased the game, and all the expansions (not to mention the fact that the game has long since vanished from general distribution and even Atari's support of the game at this point seems unofficial); however, I'm under no illusions as to the dubious nature of the found image in general.

It seems to me this is one of those situations where one can, perhaps, be ethically sound but legally unsound.

But anyway, I'm having fun filling up my breaktime with Scathe Zombies, Shivan Dragons, and the like...
viktor_haag: (Default)
So, I found on the 'net a CD image of Microprose's old "Magic: The Gathering" computer game, complete with both expansion sets, and patched to run under Windows XP.

w00t! (as they say)

Now, I don't feel bad about this, as I originally purchased the game, and all the expansions (not to mention the fact that the game has long since vanished from general distribution and even Atari's support of the game at this point seems unofficial); however, I'm under no illusions as to the dubious nature of the found image in general.

It seems to me this is one of those situations where one can, perhaps, be ethically sound but legally unsound.

But anyway, I'm having fun filling up my breaktime with Scathe Zombies, Shivan Dragons, and the like...
viktor_haag: (Default)
Got my new nano fresh off the FedEx truck today. It's a bit alarming to see what's happened to the iPod in the last four years. My last iPod was one of the first generation 4GBs with the physical scroll wheel. This thinggie is about a fifth of the size, a third of the price, colour screen, and the same storage. Yoicks! The only thing I'm not keen on is the lack of firewire (my silverback G4 at work has no USB2, so updating is pokey), but my home machines have USB2, so I'm assuming that throughput there won't be too bad.

Also new (but the same colour) is my set of Bronx lace-ups from Keen. I needed something a little sturdier than my Finn Comfort standbys, and a co-worker was mad about her Boston models, so I took a flyer. On first wear, they seem as comfortable as everyone has been saying, and they look like they'll be mad durable to boot. I really wanted the midcut version of the Bronx, but they've discontinued it, and I was not interested in the Boston model: half the attraction of the Bronx is the to-toe lacing, of which I've always been a fan.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Got my new nano fresh off the FedEx truck today. It's a bit alarming to see what's happened to the iPod in the last four years. My last iPod was one of the first generation 4GBs with the physical scroll wheel. This thinggie is about a fifth of the size, a third of the price, colour screen, and the same storage. Yoicks! The only thing I'm not keen on is the lack of firewire (my silverback G4 at work has no USB2, so updating is pokey), but my home machines have USB2, so I'm assuming that throughput there won't be too bad.

Also new (but the same colour) is my set of Bronx lace-ups from Keen. I needed something a little sturdier than my Finn Comfort standbys, and a co-worker was mad about her Boston models, so I took a flyer. On first wear, they seem as comfortable as everyone has been saying, and they look like they'll be mad durable to boot. I really wanted the midcut version of the Bronx, but they've discontinued it, and I was not interested in the Boston model: half the attraction of the Bronx is the to-toe lacing, of which I've always been a fan.

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